How Often Should You Use a Hair Mask? (Based on Hair Type)

how often to use a hair mask

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Hair masks are an important addition to a hair care routine. They are packed with nutrients that can keep your hair moisturized, strengthen weak hair, and even brighten color-treated hair. With regular use, they keep your hair healthy and can make it feel like silk.

The feel of those silky, luxurious locks after using a hair mask might have you tempted to use one every day. But, just how often can you use a hair mask? The tips will help you find out.

See Also: How Often Should You Condition Your Hair?

How Often Should You Do a Hair Mask?

For Healthy Hair

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If your hair is fairly healthy, the general rule is that you can use a hair mask once a week to every other week. Though this is the general rule, it can vary.

Certain times of year seem to make our hair and skin drier. You may need a moisturizing hair mask once a week in the winter when the dry air from heaters leaves your hair parched and in need of an extra boost of hydration.

If you have an event that had you heat styling your hair more often for a few days, like a wedding or vacation, you may need to do an extra mask. Or, if you spend a lot of time in the pool in the summer, every 2 weeks will not be enough to combat the drying chlorine.

While healthy hair might normally need a hair mask every other week, these situations will require a weekly mask.

For Damaged Hair

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If your hair is damaged you should definitely do a hair mask once a week. Damaged hair needs an infusion of protein to help strengthen and repair it.

Though it might seem that using a hair mask after every shampoo would help fix the damage faster, that’s not true. First, hair can only absorb so much at a time. Using it too often will not help it repair faster, just that you’re wasting your product.

Also, masks made for damaged hair often have proteins like keratin or biotin in them. Hair requires a balance of protein and too much can overload the hair. This ends up making hair dull and brittle.

Doing a hair mask once a week, and leaving it on for the amount of time on the package will ensure you don’t get too much. After a month of use, you can use your mask for damaged hair every other week and start using a moisturizing mask during the weeks in between.

Related: Should You Use Shampoo or Conditioner First?

For Dry Hair

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With dry hair, moisturizing masks will be helpful and make your strands feel like silk. You will want to use a moisturizing mask once a week.

If your hair is dry because of heat styling, moisturizing masks will be the perfect weekly treatment. But, if you have other hair concerns, like brassy ends or dull color, you may need to alternate masks.

One week you can use a moisturizing mask and the next a mask that helps enhance your color or cancel out brassy tones. As tempting as it may be to use a moisturizing mask even when you use a color mask, remember that the hair can only absorb so much.

Often coloring masks don’t feel hydrating enough, so you will want to use both, just not in the same week.

For Oily Hair

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With oily hair, you can usually use a hair mask every other week and still keep it healthy. But, certain things can change how often you’ll need to use them to keep your hair in tip-top shape.

With oily hair, you often have to strike a balance between oily roots and dry ends. The more you put your hair through, the more TLC the ends will need regardless of how oily the scalp is. Frequent heat styling, spending time in the pool, or bleaching your hair will make the ends dry and damaged.

Instead of doing a mask every other week, or 14 days, you can do a mask every 7-10 days. Also, make sure to saturate the ends of the hair with the mask but don’t apply it near the roots. It will be too heavy and make your hair look oily right away.

When applying a hair mask to oil hair, apply from around the ears and down. Also, choose a mask with light moisturizing ingredients. That will keep the ends healthy and moisturized without making the roots greasy.

For Curly Hair

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Like most hair types, the rule of thumb for curly hair is to do a hair mask weekly. Yet, the thickness of your hair and the abuse you put it through can change that.

If you have very fine curly hair with an oily scalp you may not need it once a week and can go every 10-14 days instead. With thicker hair, a weekly mask will be perfect. If you have color-treated hair, alternate your regular hair mask with a color-enhancing mask if you need one.

Even thick curls don’t need to double up on hair masks unless they spent the week swimming, bleaching their hair, and blowdrying it daily. So unless that all happened in one week, you don’t need to do more than one hair mask in a week.

For Fine Hair

With fine hair, you can do a mask weekly to every other week. If you want to do a weekly mask you will need to choose one with lighter moisturizing ingredients or, if you have very dry ends, alternate a heavier moisturizing mask and a lighter one every other week.

Another thing to keep in mind is that, like oily hair, the mask needs to stay at the ends to avoid it being weighed down and greasy too quickly. Don’t apply it above the ears, or your roots will be weighed down.

Once you begin to use a hair mask regularly, you may find that a weekly lightweight hair mask keeps it moisturized well and you won’t need to use the heavier masks to keep your hair shiny and silky.

For Thick Hair

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With thick hair, you will definitely want to do a hair mask every week. The only difference for thick hair is that you have to pay close attention to sectioning your hair well so each part can get properly saturated with the product.

Just applying without sectioning your hair may leave the inner parts of your thick mane untouched by the mask and its benefits. By sectioning it, you can work it through each part making sure all of your hair is coated.

You may also want to rinse it out in sections too. It can be hard for the water to work its way through very thick hair. You will want to be careful to make sure you thoroughly rinse out the mask.

Is It OK To Use a Hair Mask EVERY Day?

For the most part, using a hair mask daily will be too much for the hair, leaving it limp and lifeless. Also, if the hair mask contains proteins like keratin and biotin to strengthen damaged hair, it can eventually work to make your hair dry and brittle.

If you just spent several days in a swimming pool, or have undergone a major color change with bleach, you can do an extra mask to make sure your hair is in its best possible shape. But, otherwise, it shouldn’t be used more than once a week.

A moisturizing hair mask won’t hurt your hair if you use it daily, but it won’t help it any more than a regular conditioner. Hair can only absorb so much at once. By using a hair mask daily, once it has absorbed what it can you’ll just be rinsing the concentrated ingredients and your money down the drain.

Hair masks are a great addition to your hair care routine, but shouldn’t replace your conditioner for daily use.

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